Mel Evans, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace UK said:
The Chancellor’s rhetoric may have been strong on the environment, but the reality was a very mixed bag. Philip Hammond can’t hide the fact that the Treasury is still failing to truly get to grips with the greatest challenges of our time.
The biodiversity assessment could, depending on scope, be a really significant moment in our global nature crisis. The announcement of Partha Dasgupta as external chair is good news. The intention to support a marine protected area covering all of Ascension Island’s waters is an important step. And the plan to end fossil fuels in new homes is vital.
But unfortunately too much of what we’ve heard today, from plastic waste to climate change, isn’t new and isn’t bold enough. Tackling the climate emergency demands much bigger thinking. Issues like the shoddy state of our existing housing stock and rapid adoption of electric vehicles require serious money behind serious policies. A good start would be banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. Equally, when compared to ideas like frequent fliers paying more and more heavily for trips abroad, carbon offsetting transport falls very short. Paying lip service to action, and piecemeal measures are not an option. It’s time for strong words to be matched with strong action.